Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Self Storage and Hollywood

Whilst it might seem a long way from being a glamorous destination, a self-storage facility has featured numerous times in films, books, and TV, either as the main character, so to speak, or in a cameo role. 

Self storage units have appeared in television shows, such as Auction Hunters, Dexter, 24, and Criminal Minds, and made it to the big screen in:
  • Citizen Kane - this movie made in the 1930s mentions a storage unit.
  • Larry Crowne – this 2011 Tom Hanks movie is about a middle-aged guy who reinvents himself after losing his long-term job and decides to go back to school. Some of the filming for a scene is shot at a storage location.
  • Steel Homes – this is a Scottish documentary about the fascinating contents and history of storage units, released in 2008. Reality TV is extremely popular and this is a series that has taken off as people are fascinated by the things that these containers can conceal and what they can tell about people’s lives. Storage Wars is another documentary that follows 4 people in competition with each other as they bid frantically to buy up the best units and discover what fortunes they have won. Then there is Auction Hunters with 2 guys travelling all over America to find the best units.  
  • Primer - a science fiction film where time machines that were used in the film were located in a storage facility.
  • Esposito is a feature-length romantic comedy made in 2011 that tells the story of a guy who wins his dream girl’s storage locker at auction and puts the contents to good use by winning her affection.
  • There have also been two major films called Self Storage. One is a drama about a man with a broken marriage, while the second, in 2013, is a horror flick. It’s a story of Jake, a night watchman at a self storage facility, whose pals are home from college. He invites them to the facility to party and the night turns into one of pure terror.
  • Breaking Bad – In season 5 Sklyer has to decide what to do with all the illicit money coming into her car wash and, as she can’t launder all of Walt’s cash without making people suspicious, she does what any clever criminal would do and goes ahead and rents a self-storage unit.

It seems that writers find the idea of a storage facility as a great creative outlet for their mysterious characters and dramatic plots, and when you think about all the stories that exist behind locked doors in a storage facility and the secrets and mysteries they could possibly hold, you can understand the appeal they have.